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JOUR 390: Freedom of the Press

How To Read Laterally

Reading Laterally


Reading Laterally: Checking Online Sources Quicker and with More Accuracy

What is reading laterally? Evaluate a source by reading about it on other, trustworthy sites.

  1. Open a few new tabs in your browser to search outside of the website itself.
  2. Start by searching the name of the website. Use fact checking sites like Politifact or Snopes
  3. Return to the website and scan for additional information, such as a publisher or author name.

How is your source viewed by others? Combining the information from your various searches should give you a good idea of how this website is viewed and, therefore, whether it is reliable.

The point is to look outside of the website, do not rely on how the website describes itself (such as “about us” page).

Sort Fact From Fiction with Lateral Reading

How To Use Wikipedia Wisely

Report ADA Problems with Library Services and Resources